Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Opening Up The Druid theatre Archive

Opening up the Druid Archive
Cataloguing of the archive of the celebrated Druid Theatre Company has begun at the Archives and Special Collections of NUI Galway. The Druid archive is a fantastic addition to the growing collections of theatre archives catalogued and accessible around Ireland. Druid have earned their place in the hearts of all communities in the west of Ireland and nationwide as well as touring the globe to unprecedented success for an Irish theatre company.

Marie Mullen, Paul O'Neil,
Garry Hynes and Maeliosa Stafford. 1979
The collection dates from the earliest of days when Druid was founded in 1975 by Marie Mullen, Garry Hynes and Mick Lally. That summer saw the establishment of the first professional theatre group outside of Dublin and one that would emerge to radically change the future of Irish theatre. Despite having no permanent home for the first years of its existence, Druid settled in Druid Lane (formally Church Lane) theatre in 1979 where it still resides today.
The collection is a vibrant mix of the records and legacy of Druid. Playbills, posters, invitations, flyers and an incredible photographic collection combine to present the rich and engaging history of this dynamic group. The archive numbers over fifty boxes of material and hundreds of posters and photographs. Production files exist for all works staged by Druid ensuring a unique experience for any reader of the Druid Archive.
The NUI Galway theatre archives blog will follow the work of cataloguing the Druid theatre archive and will feature updates on the stages of the collection that are archived along with photographs, videos, articles and news that will document the growth of this project. The challenge to preserve what is live and special about a Druid performance will resonate from this, the Druid Theatre Archive.
Druid Lane Theatre. 2009

Welcome to the NUI Galway Theatre Archives Blog

The Archives Service of the James Hardiman Library in the National University of Ireland, Galway is undertaking several major cataloguing projects over the next fifteen months. The archives of the Lyric and Druid theatres will be catalogued during this time, in addition to the work already being done on other theatrical collections held by the archives. 

This blog will provide regular updates on the projects from the archivists involved. We hope to highlight items of interest, discuss the issues raised by the archives, and promote their use as an incredible resource for anyone interested in Irish theatrical history. 

Please see our About page for more information on the project, as well as the Collections page for details on the theatre archives, and indeed the other holdings, of NUI Galway Archives. Our Staff page also offers a point of direct contact with the archivists. Feel free to comment on posts (subject to moderation) and to share this page.

Sarah Poutch